Articles From the August 1994 Unification News


Rev. Moon's Church Gives Boat To Fire Squad

by Rob Ryser-Tarrytown Daily News

This item appeared in the Tarrytown Daily News, Aug. 4, 1994. Reprinted with permission.

The Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church has donated a tuna boat to the Irvington Fire Department's river rescue squad. "The offer comes straight from Reverend Moon's heart," church member Dominic Barber said. "Everyone said we should give them a new one, but they asked us for a used boat." Moon has a home in Irvington and the Unification Church's spiritual center is on the 200-acre Belvedere estate in Tarrytown.

The village was notified Tuesday that it would get the 28-foot fiberglass tuna vessel. A new boat would have cost the village about $50,000.

Moon originally proposed giving the boat to firefighters several years ago, but the village declined the offer, village Administrator Stephen McCabe said.

Recently, volunteers remembered the offer and asked the church if it was still good, Fire Chief Michael Colantuono said.

McCabe and Colantuono went to look at the boat Tuesday, when it was on display at the South Broadway estate in Tarrytown. The boat was part of an exhibit called the 20th Anniversary of the Ocean Providence. The exhibit showed how church members are using ocean resources to benefit Third World countries.

"It is very seaworthy," McCabe said of the boat. "It is sturdy and in good shape. We looked at it and said `yes'."

The Fire Department's current 16-foot river rescue boat is too small to carry more than several divers at a time and too small to transport a victim back to shore, McCabe said.

"We're growing out of it," Colantuono said.

The Irvington Fire Department is in demand during the summer because it is one of the few departments in Westchester County with a diving squad and river rescue team.

So far this summer, the department has responded to a dock fire in Hastings-on-Hudson, a tugboat fire between Tarrytown and Piermont, several rescue calls at the Tappan Zee Bridge, and a homicide investigation where partial remains of a victim were found in the Hudson River.

"We've been pretty busy," Colantuono said. "I think it's a great thing what the Unification Church is doing for us."

Church spokesman Peter Ross said the donation was agreed to verbally as the church's oceanic celebration was ending. He said the theme of the celebration was using untapped resources of the ocean to benefit needy people.

Among the varied ocean-related enterprises begun privately by members of the church, for example, is the development of a protein-rich fish powder that can be added to flour for hunger relief missions, Ross said. The actual transfer of the boat from the church to the village may not happen for another month, McCabe said.

The village will pay to have the vessel painted and fitted with special rescue equipment before it is called on for service, the administrator added.

(c) 1994 by Gannett Surburban Newspapers.


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